ON THE EXTENT OF THE DIVINE CONDESCENSION.
"Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high ; who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth" Ps. cx111: 3, 6.
In our last Discourse, we attempted to expose the total
want of evidence fou the assertion of tho infidel astronomer - and this reduces
the whole of our remaining controversy with him to the business of arguing
against a mere possibilitv. Still, however, the answer is not as complete as it
might be, till the soundness of the arguement be attended to, as well as the
credibility of the assertion or in other words, let us admit the assertion, and
take a view of the reasoning which has been constructed upon it.
We have already attempted to lay before you the wonderful extent of that space, teeming with unnumbered worlds which in modern science has brought within the circle of its discoveries. We even ventured to expatiate on those tracts of inifinity, which lie on the other side of all t hat eye or that telescope hath made known too us - to shoot afar unto those ulterior regions, which are beyond the limits of our astronomy - to impress you with the rashness of the imagination. that the creative energy of God had sunk exhausted by the magnitude of its efforts, at that very line, through which the art of man, lavished as it has been on the work of perfecting the instrument of vision, has not yet been able to penetrate and upon all this we hazarded the itertion that though all these visible heavens were to rush annihilation, and the besom of the Almightys wrath were to sweep from the face of the universe those millions and millions more of suns and of systems which lie within the grasp of our actual observation - that this event, which to our eye, would leave so wide and so dismal a solitude behind it might be nothing in the eye of Him who could take in the whole, but the disappearance of a speck from that field of created things, which the hand of His omnipotence had thrown around him.
But to press homo the sentiment of the text, it is not necessary to stretch the imagination beyond the limit of our actual discoveries. It is enough to strike our minds with the insignificance of this world and of all who inhabit it, to bring it into measurement with that mighty assemblage of worlds which lie open to the eye of man, aided as it has been by the inventions of his genius. When we told you of the mighty millions of suns, each occupying its own independant territory in space, and dispensing its own influence over a cluster of tributary worlds; this world could not fail to sink into littleness in the eye of him, whe looked to all the magnitude and varietyy which are are around it. We gave you but a feeble image of our comparitive insignificance when we said that the glories of an extended forest would suffer no more from the fall of a single leaf, than the glories of this extended universe would suffer, though the globe we tread upon, and all that it inherit, should dissolve. And when we lift our conceptions to Him who has peopled immensity with all these wonders - Who sits enthroned on thee magnificence of His own works, and by one sublime idea can embrace the whole extent of that boundless amplitude, which He has filled with the trophies of His divinity; we cannot but resign our whole heart to the Psalmists exclamation of What is man, that thou art mindful of him; or the son of man, that thou shouldst deign to visit him.
Now, mark the use to which all this has been turned by the genius of Infidelity. Such an humble portion of the universe as ours, could never have been the object of such high and distinguishing attentions as Christianity has assigned to it. God would not have manifested Himself in the flesh for the salvation of so paltry a world. The monarch of a whole continent would never move from his capital; and lay aside the splendour of royalty; and subject himself for months, or for years, to perils, and poverty, and persecution; and take up his abode in some small islet of his dominions, which, though swallowed by an earthquake, could not be missed amid the glories of so wide an empire; and all this to regain the lost affections of a few families upon its surface. And neither would the eternal Son of God - He who is revealed to us as having made all worlds, and as holding an empire, amid the splendours of which, the globe that we inherit is shaded in insignificance ; neither would He strip Himself of the glory He had with the Father before the world was, and light on this lower scene for the purpose imputed to Him in the New Testament. Impossible, that the concerns of this puny ball, which floats its little round among an infinity of larger worlds, should be of such mighty account in the plans of the Eternal, or should have given birth in heaven to so wonderful a movement, as the Son of God putting on the form of our degraded species, and sojourning amongst us, and sharing in all our infirmities, and crowning the whole scene of humiliation by the disgrace and the agonies of a cruel martyrdom.
This has been started as a difficulty in the way of the Christian Revelation; and it is the boast of many of our philosophical Infidels, that, by the light of modern discovery, the light of the New Testament is eclipsed and overborne; and the mischief is not confined to philosophers, for the argument has got into other hands, and the popular illustrations that are now given to the sublimest truths of science, have widely disseminated all the Deism that has been grafted upon it; and the high tone of a decided contempt for the Gospel is now associated with the flippancy of superficial accquirements; and, while the venerable Newton, whose genius threw open those mighty fields of contemplation, found a fit exercise for his powers in the interpretation of the Bible, there are thousands and tens of thousands, who, though walking in the light which he holds out to them, are seduced by a complacency which ise never felt, and inflated by a pride which never entered into his pious and philosophival bosom, and whose only notice of the Bible is to depreciate, and to deride, and to disown it.
Before entering into what what we conceive to be the right answer to this objection, let us previously observe, that it goes to strip the Deity of an attribute, which forms a wonderful addition to the glories of his incomprehensible character. It is indeed a mighty evidence of the strength of His arm, that so many millions of worlds are suspended on it; but it would surely make the high attribute of His power more illustrious, if, while it expatiated at large among the suns and the systems of astronomy, it could, at the very same instant, be impressing a movement and a direction on all the minuter wheels- of that machinery which is working incessantly around us. It forms a noble demonstration of His wisdom, that He gives unremitting operation to those laws which uphold the stability of this great universe; but it would go to heighten that wisdom inconceivably, if, while equal to the magnificent task of maintaining the order and harmony of the spheres, it was lavishing its inexhaustible resources on the beauties, and varieties, and arrangements, of every one scene, however humble, of every one field, however narrow, of the creation He had formed. It is a cheering evidence of the delight He takes in communicating happiness, that tine whole of immensity should be so strewed with the habitations of life and of intelligence; but it would surely bring home the evidence, with a nearer and a more affecting impression, to every bosom, did we know, that at the very time His benignant regard took in the mighty circle of created beings, there was not a single family overlooked by Him, and that every individual in every corner of his dominions, was as effectually seen to, as if the object of an exclusive and undivided care.
It is our imperfection, that we cannot give our attention to more than one object, at one and the same instant of time; but surely it would elevate our every idea of the perfections of God, did we know, that whrle his comprehensive mind could grasp the whole amplitude of nature, to the very outermost of its boundaries, He had an attentive eye fastened on the very humblest of its objects, and pondered every thought of my heart, and noticed every footstep of my goings, and treasured up in His remembrance every turn and every movement of my history.
And, lastly, to apply this train of sentiment to the matter before us; let us suppose that one among the countless myriads of worlds, should be visited by a moral pestilence, which spread through all its people, and brought them under the doom of a law, whose sanctions were unrelenting and immutable; it were no disparagement to God, should He, by an act of righteous indignation, sweep this offence away from the universe which it deformed - nor thould we wonder, though, among the multitude of other worlds, from which the ear of the Almighty was regaled with the songs of praise, and the incense of a pure adoration ascended to His throne, He should leave the strayed and solitary world to perish in the guilt of its rebellion. But, would it not throw the softening of a most exquisite tenderness over the character of God, should we see Him putting forth His every expedient to reclaim to Himself those children who had wandered away from Him and, few as they were when compared with the host of His obedient worshippers, would it not just impart to his attribute of compassion the infinity of the Godhead, that, rather than lose the single world which had turned to its own way, He should send the messengers of peace to woo and to welcome it back again; and, if justice demanded so mighty a sacrifice, and the law behoved to be so magnified and made honourable, would it not throw a moral sublime over the goodness of the Deity, should He lay upon His own Son the burden of its atonement, that He might again smile upon the world, and hold out the sceptre of invitation to all its families?
We avow it, therefore, that this infidel argument goes to expunge a perfection from the character of God. The more we know of the extent of nature, should not we have the loftier conception of Him who sits in high authority over the concerns of so wide a universe? But is it not adding to the bright catalogue of His other attributes, to say, that, while magnitude does not overpower Him, minuteness cannot escape Him, and variety cannot bewilder Him; and that, at the very time while the mind of the Deity is abroad over the whole vastness of creation, there is not one particle of matter, there is not one individual principle of rational or of animal existence, there is not one single world in that expanse which teems with them, that His eye does not discern as constantly, and His hand does not guide as unerringlyi and His Spirit does not watch and care for as vigilantly, as if it formed the one and exclusive object of His attention? The thing is inconceivable to us, whose minds are so easily distracted by a number of objects, and this is the secret principle of the whole Infidelity I am now alluding to.
To bring God to the level of our own comprehension, we would clothe him in the impotency of a man. We would transfer to his wonderful mind all the imperfection of our own faculties. When we are taught by astronomy, that He has millions of worlds to look after, and thus add in one direction to the glories of His character; we take away from them in another, by saying, that each of these worlds must be looked after imperfectly. the use that we make of a discovery, which should heighten our every conception of God, and humble us into the sentiment, that a Being of such mysterious elevation is to us unfathomable, is to sit in judgment over Him, and to pronounce such a judgment as degrades Him, and keeps Him down to the standard of our own paltry imagination!
We are introduced by modern science to a multitude of other suns and of other systems; and the perverse interpretation we put upon the fact, that God can diffuse the benefits of His power and of His goodness over such a variety of worlds, is, that He cannot, or will not, bestow so much goodness on one of those worlds, as a professed revelation from Heaven has announced to us. While we enlarge the provinces of His empire, we tarnish all the glory of this enlargement, by saying, He has so much to care for, that the care of every one province must be less complete, and less vigilant, and less effectual, than it would otherwise have been. By the discoveries of modern science, we multiply the places of the creation; but along with this, we would impair the attribute of His eye being in every place to behold the evil and the good; and thus, while we magnify one of His perfections, we do it at tine expense of another; and, to bring Him within the grasp of our feeble capacity, we would deface one of the glories of that character, which it is our part to adore, as higher than all thought, and as greater than all comprehension.
The objection we are discussing, I shall state again in a single sentence. Since astronomy has unfolded to us such a number of worlds, it is not likely that God would pay so much attention to this one world, and set up such wonderful provisions for its benefit, as are announced to us in the Christian Revelation. This objection will have received its answer, if we can meet it by the following position: - that God, in addition to the bare faculty of dwelling on a multiplicity of objects at one and the same time, has this faculty in such wonderful perfection, that He can attend as fully, and provide as richly, and manifest all His attributes as illustriously, on every one of these objects, as if the rest had no existence, and no place whatever in His government or in His thoughts. For the evidence of this position, we appeal, in the first place, to the personal history of each individual among you. Only grant us, that God never loses sight of any one thing He has created and that no created thing can continue either to be, or to act independently of Him; and then, even upon the face of this world, humble as it is on the great scale of astronomy, how widely diversified, and how multiplied into many thousand distinct exercises, is the attention of God! His eye is upon every hour of my existence. His spirit is intimately present with every thought of my heart. His inspiration gives birth to every purpose within me. His hand impresses a direction on every footstep of my goings. Every breath I inhale, is drawn by an energy which God deals out to me. This body, which, upon the slightest derangement, would become the prey of death, or of woful suffering, is now at ease, because He at this moment is warding off from me a thousand dangers, and upholding the thousand movements of its complex and delicate machinery. His presiding influence keeps by me through the whole current of my restless and everchanging history. When I walk by the wayside, He is along with me. When I enter into company, amid all my forgetfulness of Him, He never forgets me. In the silent watches of the night, when my eyelids have closed, and my spirit has sunk into unconsciousness, the observant eye of Him who never slumbers is upon me. I cannot fly from his presence. Go where I will, He tends me, and watches me, and cares for me; and the same Being who is now at work in the remotest domains of Nature and of Providence, is also at my right hand to eke out to me every moment of my being, and to uphold me in the exercise of all my feelings, and of all my faculties.
Now, what God is doing with me, He is doing with every distinct individual of this worlds population. The intimacy of His presence, and attention, and care, reaches to one and to all of them. With a mind unburdened by the vastness of all its other concerns, He can prosecute, without distraction, the government and guardianship of every one son and daughter of the species. And is it for us, in the face of all this experience, ungratefully to draw a limit around the perfections of God; to aver, that the multitude of other worlds has withdrawn any portion of His benevolence from the one we occupy or that He, whose eye is upon every separate family of the earth, would not lavish all the riches of His unsearchable attributes on some high plan of pardon and immortality, in behalf of its countless generations ?
But, secondly, were the mind of God so fatigued, and so occupied with the care of other worlds, as the objection presumes Him to be, should we not see some traces of neglect, or of carelessness, in His managennent of ours? Should we not behold, in many a field of observation, the evidence of its master being overcrowded with the variety of His other engagements? A man oppressed by a multitude of business, would simplify amid reduce the work of any new concern that vvas devolved upon him. Now, point out a single mark of God being thus oppressed. Astronomy has laid open to us so many realms of creation, which were before unheard of, that the world we inhabit shrinks into one remote and solitary province of His wide monarchy. Tell us then, if, in any one field of this province which man has access to, you witness a single indication of God sparing Himself - God reduced to languor by the weight of His other employments - of God sinking under the burden of that vast superintendance which lies upon Him - of God being exhausted, as one of ourselves would be, by any number of concerns, however great, by any variety of them, however manifold; and do you not perceive, in that mighty profusion of wisdom and of goodness, which is scattered every where around us, that the thoughts of this unsearchable Being are not as our thoughts, nor his ways as our ways ?
My time does not suffer me to dwell on this topic, because, before I conclude, I must hasten to another illustration. But when I look abroad on the wondrous scene that is immediately before me - and see, that in every direction it is a scene of the most various and unwearied activity - and expatiate on all the beauties of that garniture by which it is adorned, and on all the prints of design and of benevolence which abound in its - and think, that the same God who holds the universe, with its every system, in the hollow of His hand, pencils every flower, and gives nourishment to every blade of grass, and actuates the movements of every living thing, and is not disabled, by the weight of His other cases, from enriching the humble department of nature I occupy, with charms and accommodations of the most unbounded variety; then, surely, if a message, bearing every mark of authenticity, should profess to come to me from God, and inform me of his mighty doings for the happiness of our species, it is not for me, in the face of all this evidence, to reject it as a tale of imposture, because astronomers have told me that He has so many other worlds and other orders of beings to attend to, - and, when I think that it were a deposition of Him from his supremacy over the creatures he has formed, should a single sparrow fall to the ground without His appointment, then let science and sophistry try to cheat me of my comfort, as they may - I will not let go the anchor of my confidence in God - I will not be afraid, for I am of more value than many sparrows.
But, thirdly, it was the telescope, that, by piercing the obscurity which lies between us and distant worlds, put Infidelity in possession of the argument against which we are now contending. But, about the time of its invention, another instrument was formed, which laid open a scene no less wonderful, and rewarded the inquisitive spirit of man with a discovery, which serves to neutralize the whole of this argument. This was the microscope. The one led me to see a system in every star. The other leads me to see a world in every atom. The one taught me, that this mighty globe, with the whole burden of its people and of its countries, is but a grain of sand on the high field of immensity. The other teaches me, that every grain of sand may harbour within it the tribes and the families of a busy population. The one told me of the insignificance of the world I tread upon. The other redeems it from all its insignificance; for it tells me that in the leaves of every forest, and in the flowers of every garden, and in the waters of every rivulet, there are worlds teeming with life, and numberless as are the glories of the firmament. The one has suggested to me, that beyond and above all that is visible to man, there may lie fields of creation which sweep immeasurably along, and carry the impress of the Almightys hand to the remotest scenes of the universe. The other suggests to me, that within and beneath all that minuteness which the aided eye of man has been able to explore, there may lie a region of invisibles; and that, could we draw aside the mysterious curtain which shrouds it from our senses, we might there see a theatre of as many wonders as astronomy has unfolded, a universe within the compass of a point so small, as to elude all the powers of the microscope, but where the wonder-working God finds room for the exercise of all His attributes, where He can raise another mechanism of worlds, and fill and animate them all with the evidences of His glory.
Now, mark how all this may be made to meet the argument of our infidel astronomers. By the telescope, they have discovered that no magnitude, however vast, is beyond the grasp of the Divinity. But by the microscope, we have also discovered, that no minuteness, however shrunk from the notice of the human eye, is beneath the condescension of His regard. Every addition to the powers of the one instrument, extends the limit of His visible dominions. But, by every addition to the powers of the other instrument, we see each part of them more crowded than before, with the wonders of His unwearying hand. The one is constantly widening the circle of His territory. The other is as constantly filling up its separate portions, with all that is rich, and various, and exquisite. In a word, by the one I am told that the Almighty is now at work in regions more distant than geometry has ever measured, and among worlds more manifold than numbers have ever reached. But, by the other, I am also told, that with a mind to comprehend the whole, in the vast compass of its generality, He has also a mind to concentrate a close and a separate attention on each and on all of its particulars; and that the same God, who sends forth an upholding influence among the orbs and the movements of astronomy, can fill the recesses of every single atom with the intimacy of his presence, and travel, in all the greatness of His unimpaired attributes, upon every one spot and corner of the universe He has formed.
They, therefore, who think that God will not put forth such a power, and such a goodness, and such a condescension, in behalf of this world, as are ascribed to Him in the New Testament, because He has so many other worlds to attend to, think of him as a man. They confine their view to the informations of the telescope, and forget altogether the informations of the other instrument. They only find room in their minds for His one attribute of a large and general superintendence; and keep out of their remembrance the equally impressive proofs we have for those other attribute, of a minute and multiplied attention to all that diversity of operations, where it is He that worketh all in all. And when I think, that as one of the instruments of philosophy has heightened our every impression of the first of these attributes, so another instrument has no less heightened our impression of the second of them - then I can no longer resist the conclusion, that it would be a transgression of sound argument, as well as a daring of impiety, to draw a limit around the doings of this unsearchable God and, should a professed revelation from heaven tell me of an act of condescension, in behalf of some separate world, so wonderful, that angels desired to look into it, and the Eternal Son had to move from His seat of glory to carry it into accomplishment, all I ask is the evidence of such a revelation; for, let it tell me as much as it may of God letting himself down for the benefit of one single province of His dominions, this is no more than what I see lying scattered, in numberless examples, before me; and running through the whole line of my recollections; and meeting me in every walk of observation to which I can betake myself; and, now that the microscope has unveiled the wonders of another region, I see strewed around me, with a profusion which baffles my every attempt to comprehend it, the evidence that there is no one portion of the universe of God too minute for His notice, nor too humble for the visitations of His care.
As the end of all these illustrations, let me bestow a single paragraph on what I conceive to be the precise state of this argument. It is a wonderful thing that God should be so unencumbered by the concerns of a whole universe, that He can give a constant attention to every moment of every individual in this worlds population. But, wonderful as it is, you do not hesitate to admit it as true, on the evidence of your own recollections. It is a wonderful thing that He, whose eye is at every instant on so many worlds, should have peopled the world we inhabit with all the traces of the varied design and benevolence which abound in it. But great as the wonder is, you do not allow so much as the shadow of improbability to darken it, for its reality is what you actually witness, and you never think of questioning the evidence of observation. It is wonderful, it is passing wonderful, that the same God, whose presence is diffused through immensity, and who spreads the ample canopy of His administration over all its dwelling-places, should, with an energy as fresh and as unexpended as if He had only begun the work of creation, turn Him to the neighbourhood around us, and lavish, On its every hand-breadth, all the exuberance of His goodness, and crowd it with the many thousand varieties of conscious existence. But, be the wonder incomprehensible as it may, you do not suffer in your mind the burden of a single doubt to lie upon it, because you do not question the report of the microscope. You do not refuse its information, nor turn away from it as an incompetent channel of evidence.
But to bring it still nearer to the point at issue, there are many who never looked through a microscope, but who rest an implicit faith in all its revelations; and upon what evidence I would ask? Upon the evidence of testimony - upon the credit they give to the authors of the books they have read, and the belief they put in the record of their observations. Now, at this point I make my stand. it is wonderful that God should be so interested in the redemption of a single world, as to send forth his welI-beloved Son upon the errand; and He, to accomplish it, should, mighty to save, put forth all His strength, and travail in the greatness of it. But such wonders as these have already multiplied upon you; and when evidence is given of their truth, you have resigned your every judgment of the unsearchable God, and rested in the faith of them. I demand, in the name of sound and consistent philosophy, that you do the same in the matter before us - and take it up as a question of evidence - and examine that medium of testimony through which the miracles and informations of the Gospel have come to your door - and go not to admit as argument here, what would not be admitted as argument in any of the analogies of nature and observation - and take along with you in this field of inquiry, a lesson which you should have learned upon other fields - even the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God, that His judgments are unsearchable, and His ways are past finding out.
I do not enter at all into the positive evidence for the truth of the Christian Revelation, my single aim at present being to dispose of one of the objections which is conceived to stand in the way of it. Let me suppose then, that this is done to the satisfaction of a philosophical inquirer; and that the evidence is sustained; and that the same mind that is familiarized to all the sublimities of natural science, and has been in the habit of contemplating God in association with all the magnificence which is around him, shall be brought to submit its thoughts to the captivity of the doctrine of Christ. Oh! with what veneration, and gratitude, and wonder, should he look on the descent of Him into this lower world, who made all these things, and without whom was not any thing made that was made. What a grandeur does it throw over every step in the redemption of a fallen world, to think of its being done by Him who unrobed Him of the glories of so wide a monarchy, and came to this humblest of its provinces, in the disguise of a servant, and took upon Him the form of our degraded species, and let Himself down to sorrows, and to sufferings, and to death, for us! In this love of an expiring Saviour to those for whom in agony He poured out His soul, there is a height, and a depth, and a length, and a breadth, more than I can comprehend; and let me never from this moment neglect so great at salvation, or lose my hold of an atonement, made sure by Him who cried that it was finished, and brought in an everlasting righteousness. It was not the visit of an empty parade that He made to us. It was for the accomplishment of some substantial purpose ; and if that purpose is announced, and stated to consist in His dying the just for the unjust, that He might bring us unto God, let us never doubt of our acceptance in that way of communication with our Father in heaven, which he hath opened and made known to us. In taking to that way, let us follow His every direction, with that humility which a sense of all this wonderful condescension is fitted to inspire. Let us forsake all that He bids us forsake. Let us do all that He bids us do. Let us give our selves up to his guidance with the docility of children overpowered by a kindness that we never merited, and a love that is unequalled by all the perverseness and all the ingratitude of our stubborn nature for what shall we render unto
Him for such mysterious benefits - to him who has thus been mindful of us - to him who thus has deigned to visit us?
But the whole of this argument is not yet exhausted. We have scarcely entered on the defence that is commonly made against the plea which Infidelity rests on the wonderful extent of the universe of God, and the insignificancy of our assigned portion of it. The way in which we have attempted to dispose of this plea, is by insisting on the evidence that is every where around us, of God combining, with the largeness of a vast and mighty superintendance, which reaches the outskirts of creation, and spreads over all its amplitudes the faculty of bestowing as much attention, and exercising as complete and manifold a wisdom, and lavishing as profuse and inexhaustible a goodness, on each of its humblest departments, as if it formed the whole extent of His territory.
In the whole of this argument we have looked upon the earth as isolated from the rest of the universe altogether. But, according to the way in which the astronomical objection is commonly met, the earth is not viewed as in a state of detachment from the other worlds, and the other orders of being which God has called into existence It is looked upon as the member of a more extended system. It is associated with the magnificence of a moral empire, as wide as the kingdom of nature. It is not merely asserted, what in our last Discourse has been already done, that for any thing we can know by reason, the plan of redemption may have its influences and its bearings on those creatures of God who people other regions, and occupy other fields in the immensity of his dominions; that to argue, therefore, on this plan being instituted for the single benefit of the world we live in, and of the species to which we belong, is a mere presumption of the Infidel himself; and that the objection he rears on it must fall to the ground, when the vanity of the presumption is exposed.
The Christian apologist thinks he can go farther than this - that he can not merely expose the utter baselessness of the Infidel assertion, but that he has positive ground for erecting an opposite and a confronting assertion in its place - and that, after having neutralized their position, by showing the entire absence of all observation in its behalf, he can pass on to the distinct and affimative testimony of the Bible. We do think that this lays open a very interesting track, not of wild and fanciful, but of most legitimate and sober-minded speculation. And anxious as we are to put every thing that bears upon the Christian argument, into all its lights; and fearless as we feel for the result of a most thorough sifting of it; and thinking as we do think it, the foulest scorn that any pigmy philosopher of the day should mince his ambiguous scepticism to a set of giddy and ignorant admirers, or that a half-learned and superficial public should associate with the Christian priesthood, the blindness and the bigotry of a sinking cause - with these feelings we are not disposed to shun a single question that may be started on the subject of the Christian evidences. There is not one of its parts or bearings which needs the shelter of a disguise thrown over it. Let the priests of another faith ply their prudential expedients, and look so wise and so wary in the execution of them. But Christianity stands in a higher and a firmer attitude. The defensive armour of a shrinking or timid policy does not suit her. Hers is the naked majesty of truth; and with all the grandeur of ages but with none of its infirmities, has she come down to us, and gathered new strength from the battles she has won in the many controversies of many generations. With such a religion as this there is nothing to hide. All should be above boards. And the broadest light of day should be made fully and freely -to circulate throughout all her secrecies. But secrets she has none. To her belong the frankness and the simplicity of conscious greatness; and whether she has to contend with the pride of philosophy, or stand in fronted opposition to the prejudices of the multitude, she does it upon her own strength, and spurns all the props and all the auxiliaries of superstition away from her.
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